Subway chain experimenting with fancy café shops
Following the lead of another fast-food chain, sandwich giant
Subway is testing out upscale cafés where customers can sip on espressos while sitting in comfortable armchairs in a wood-paneled, lounge-style setting, complete with a crackling fireplace.
The project is currently being piloted in 15 locations across the US, with plans to expand to 10 more locations by the end of the year, company spokesman Les Winograd told industry web publication Nation's Restaurant News.
The Subway Café will be designed as a cross between a sandwich concept and a coffee bar, he said, and will be larger than the average 1,200-square-foot (111 square meter) Subway store now.
The café concept will offer baked goods, hot and cold espresso drinks, coffee, hot and iced chai lattes, hot chocolate and frozen blended drinks in addition to the standard Subway sandwich fare. Coffee will continue to be supplied by Seattle's Best.
The new development follows the lead of McDonald's highly successful McCafé, which has outperformed expectations and helped drive up sales in both the US and Europe last month, with offerings like frozen strawberry lemonade and McCafé shakes. The chain will also be introducing a mango pineapple smoothie this year.
The first Subway Café was launched by a franchisee in a Virginia office building.
Last week, the sandwich chain accepted a MenuMasters award at the 92nd annual National Restaurant Association trade show for its "Build Your Better Breakfast" menu, which offers an egg-white version of their omelet egg sandwich in addition to an egg muffin melt sandwich line.
Subway has 34,600 stores in 98 countries.
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